It had been raining off and on in the park all day. A little acorn plopped onto the ground. The wind had lifted him from the security and comfort of his home, a big oak tree.
The little acorn was feeling rather dismal and was pleased when the sun finally did come out. Once the rain had stopped, the acorn saw dogs everywhere in the park. They were running through mud puddles. Some had balls in their mouths and some had bones. One particular dog, who happened to be carrying a bone, was sniffing the ground.
"He is getting awfully close to me," the acorn said. "Oh no! Now he is throwing dirt at me! I can't see anything under here. What am I going to do?"
The acorn was buried under six inches of soil. Beside him was the big bone that the dog had buried.
Over the next few weeks, the acorn began to grow roots. It wasn't too long before he split in two and a green sprout emerged through the soil. The new little oak tree bathed in the bright sunlight.
"Oh!" the little oak tree exclaimed. "It feels so good to be out of that seed. I was wondering if I was ever going to see daylight again! It sure was dark down there."
As spring grew into summer, the little oak tree grew to be about six inches tall. The summer sun was very hot. Under normal conditions, the little tree wouldn't have received very much rain during this time of year. It was a hot, dry summer.
The little oak tree was very lucky. Living in the park gave him access to all kinds of water from the sprinkler system that had been installed in the park. For at least two hours per day, the little oak tree soaked up all the nourishment that he could get.
The little oak tree grew a lot that first summer. The conditions around him had been just right. By autumn, the little tree was a foot tall. He did not have many leaves yet. He enjoyed the warm days and the cool nights and the rain that fell on him from above.
One autumn day, the little oak tree was very unhappy. One of his tender young branches had been torn away from his trunk. He had only four little branches to begin with.
There were children running around in the park. Some of them had their dogs with them. One child whipped a ball as hard as he could in the direction of the little oak tree. The tree could not get up and move out of the way. He was stuck right where he was.
"Oh no!" yelled the little tree. "Here comes a ball. It is headed straight for me!"
Just before the ball landed, one of the dogs jumped up into the air and intercepted the ball. The dog caught the ball in his mouth.
"Oh thank you!" exclaimed the little oak tree. "You just saved my life. Oh no! OUCH! That hurt! Get off me, you big brute!"
The dog had landed right on top of the little oak tree.
"SNAP!" the little oak tree could hear.
"Oh no!" cried the little tree. "You broke one of my branches off! How could you be so clumsy!"
The little oak tree took a rather long time in healing his wound. The weather was now getting much colder. Snow began to fall. It soon covered the little oak tree over. He was nice and warm underneath all that snow.
During the winter, some rabbits and some deer came along and uncovered the little tree in their search for food.
"Hey, how come it is so cold here now?" the little tree yelled.
It soon snowed once again and the little oak tree was safe and sound under the pile of fresh snow.
The days began to warm up. The little oak tree was beginning to sprout new leaves and branches. He had grown taller. Spring was here once more.
The oak tree grew to be about two feet tall that spring. He had a nice full display of leaves on him as well as several new branches. He was a very handsome young tree.
Summer came and went. Slowly the young oak tree's leaves changed colour. They turned from a dark green to a reddish brown. The winds started whipping around the park fiercely. One by one, the young tree lost all of his leaves. He felt bare and cold.
"I don't understand," the young tree cried. "Last year, I was nice and warm in the snow. This year, more than half of me is buried under the snow and the rest of me is left, exposed to the cold weather."
The poor tree became so cold that he froze all the way through. He didn't thaw out until April. It was a very long, cold winter.
The spring air felt heavenly to the tree. He was so relieved when he finally felt his limbs begin to thaw out. Soon, he saw green buds on all of his branches. He had a full set of leaves by May.
One bright spring day, the oak tree heard a loud buzzing sound. There were men throughout the park with big chainsaws in their hands. The oak tree was scared. He knew the men may cut him down.
"Timber!" the tree heard one of the men shout.
The tree shivered. He felt that it was his turn next.
"Buzz, buzz," the tree heard.
Several big trees were cut down in the park that day but, luckily for the oak tree, he was saved. The oak tree lived for quite some time and led a very happy life in the park with children and dogs running around him each year.